Bird Watching at the Historic Limboto Lake

Limboto Lake is a well-known name for the people of Gorontalo. This 2,500 hectare lake is located in the Gorontalo City and Regency, and according to local folklore, it was once called Bulalo lo limu o tutu, which means the lake from an orange that came from heaven. The local people today call it Bulalo lo Limutu or more commonly, Limboto.

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Photo: Rahmadi

Limboto has also witnessed history when the warring kingdoms of Limboto and Gorontalo agreed to discuss a possible reconciliation at this site. All weapons such as swords were thrown into the lake to mark the end of hostilities.

Today Limboto plays an important role as a source of clean water, a habitat for flora and fauna and can help to prevent flooding. It is also a water catchment area for five large rivers and 23 creeks. The lake supports people in the city of Gorontalo, including 6 sub-districts and 24 vilages.

The lake is also a home to a range of bird species, which makes it a popular location for bird watching. Species found here include the White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) which can be seen perching on the enclosures of the fish which are farmed in the lake, Brahmini Kites (Haliastus indus) which often spin in search of prey, Javan Pond Heron (Ardeola speciosa) and Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) are also regular visitors to this lake.

The birds all share a common goal to find fresh fish to eat from the lake. Limboto’s fish farms are very temptating for birds, who are attracted to this area due to the high numbers of fresh fish, including species of Silver Barb, Snakehead Fish, Three Spot Gourami, or Tilapia fish. The right time to see these birds is in the mornings or evenings.

Danau Limboto_Adiwinata Solihin

Photo: Adiwinata Solihin

The best chance to see these birds is to travel across the lake with a boat. This way, visitors can clearly see birds flying gracefully over the lake  and also quietly perched on poles cages.

Although 40% of the surface of Limboto is covered in water hyacinth this place is still an important ecological and bird watching site.*

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